Feds Take Step Forward on Asset Forfeiture

Now state needs to step up

Attorney General Eric Holder last week limited local and state law enforcement from using federal asset forfeiture laws to seize property and funds without proof that a crime has occurred.

According to the most recent state report, Michigan seized $8.8 million worth of property in federally shared asset forfeitures in 2013. Michigan statute allowed agencies to take another $15 million that was officially reported.

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Michigan has had numerous problems with its program, both from federal agencies. State laws provide skewed incentives that have led to innocent people having their property seized. The federal rules are a big step in the right direction – state lawmakers should follow suit.

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